From director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Non-Stop, and Run All Night) comes the latest Liam Neeson action flick The Commuter. While it has jokingly been referred to as “Taken on a train,” it’s oh so much more than that. In fact, it’s the best and worst things about all those Neeson films combined… times 10.

This time around, Neeson plays Michael MacCauley, a family man whose finances are in dire straits. He and his wife have taken out a second mortgage on their home, and they’re not sure how they’re going to put their son through a private college. To make matters worse, after ten years of faithful service and a mere five years away from retirement, Michael’s boss at the insurance company he works for abruptly and unceremoniously fires him.

Not wanting to face his wife with the bad news just yet, he stops into a local pub where he is joined by an old friend. Alex Murphy (Patrick Wilson) is a cop and it turns out Michael used to be one too – a good one. Murphy offers in a somewhat ambiguous gesture of support to “have his back” like Michael used to have his, but Michael, head swimming with anger and a couple of beers, waves this off.

On his normal train ride home, Michael is soon joined by a seductive, enigmatic woman (Vera Farmiga) who strikes up a conversation seemingly to pass the time. She throws out a hypothetical scenario, and a bemused but intrigued Michael plays along. Would you do one little thing to another person if it meant you got $100,000 for it? Michael pushes for more information, and it is quickly revealed that this isn’t a make-believe scenario at all. In exchange for $100K, the woman and her very powerful friends want him to use his ex-cop skills to find a passenger who doesn’t belong on the train and stick a tracking device to his or her bag. Simple really. And then, just like that, she gets off the train and disappears into the crowd.

Through a series of increasingly stressful phone calls, we find out that this isn’t so much an ethical test – one in which Michael truly has a chance to do the right thing – but a setup. There are eyes everywhere, and he can’t get off the train or reach out to anyone for help. He’s soon in too deep and the woman’s powerful friends are killing off innocent people and threatening to do the same to his family. There are twists, turns, and of course – over-the-top CGI explosions – as Michael fights his way to the truth and safety.

Murder and intrigue aside, the real crime of this film is that it wastes such huge talent! Farmiga herself gets very little onscreen time; she’s mostly a disembodied voice. Sam Neil similarly has only short, awkward exchanges with Neeson that feel suspiciously like a more important role was left on the cutting room floor. And poor Jonathan Banks gets little more than a couple of scenes, which seems absurd coming off of his recent fiery performance in Mudbound. No, this is Neeson’s film through and through and the other characters are more or less props for him to punch, interrogate, and run laps around. (Not that we’re mad at him for it. At 65 he somehow pulls off better action scenes than men half his age.)

Talent issues notwithstanding, the film is actually masterful in a big way: there are so many plot-holes that if you stopped and thought about it the story would fall to pieces, and yet, you don’t. You’re not meant to and Collet-Serra knows it. He puts you on a non-stop, breakaway train right alongside Michael and a cavalcade of characters, and knows that as it flies off the rails, you’ll just let it all go and have fun. And that’s what the movie is all about. The Commuter, just like Collet-Sara’s other films, is ridiculous, but in the end you don’t really care because, hey, it’s Liam Neeson!

The Commuter speeds into theaters Friday, January 12.